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Best Friends Forever -- Writer's Poke #99

For Writers:

Call me naive, but I was 35 before I realized that friendships aren't naturally supposed to last forever.

The first time it happened, I thought that I then knew what a divorce felt like, and I chalked it up to "irreconcilable differences." We were 14 and I still liked Hulk Hogan; Greg, however, had moved on to the pursuit of tail. Maybe he made the right choice, and it must have seemed to him that me dropping the elbow on him in the hallway was a public liability to the new image he was working.

To this day, I still think about other friendships that have ended, wondering what, if anything, went wrong. There had to be more to it than physical distance, for example. So what if I moved 1000 miles away? So what if my friend joined the Navy? Aren't long distance relationships possible? Sure, there are the friends that you call up after a six month period of "radio silence," and you go on like no time had passed. Other friends from the past, though, might agree to have pizza with you while you're in town, but you can't help but notice that they're looking at their watch the whole time, waiting for a tactful way to wish you a good rest of your life. At least some of them still have the decency to pick up the tab.

Explore the differences between a relationship that lasts and one that comes to an end.

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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